14 June 2006

Education Carnival #71: End of Year Staff Party

"Hey, we made it!"

"And not a moment too soon," Graycie said. "You should have seen everyone at my school. They’ve been scavenging items from various classrooms. Whoever we hire is going to have some terrible furniture to start with."

"You’re not kidding. People have been so crabby. Why can’t we just figure out the right thing to do and work together to do it?" mused the Portable Princess.

"There does seem to be a lot of ‘sibling rivalry’ between grade levels," added the Science Goddess.

Ms. Cornelius added, "It’s not just the teachers. Even the kids are edgy, but it’s all the more difficult when the administration doesn’t do its part in promoting a safe environment for students."

The teachers sighed and took a sip of a frosty beverage. "I need another..." said the Princess as she wandered off.

"Yeah, well, I heard about a school where the principal lost a confidence vote by her staff," Darren said. "She was asking them to focus on academics, and I guess they’d rather focus on their own morale."

School Me! joined the group. "That does sound tough, but here in LA, we’re trying to find a new supe. That job is definitely not a cakewalk."

"I know what you mean," added 3 σ to the Left. "I’ve been dealing with parents who want me to make all sorts of last-ditch efforts on behalf of their kid."

"Shouldn’t the kid be the one making an effort throughout the year?" asked I Thought a Think.

"My point exactly."

I Thought a Think said, "I had a similar problem here at the end of the year. There are two youngsters in my room that might need to be retained. But that is such a tough decision to make."

"We’re worried about whether or not we should keep kids, too," said the Anonymous Educator, "but for different reasons. Some of them can be entertaining."

"It seems to me that many parents and students do not feel that they are in any way responsible for a student’s academic progress—while others disagree," interjected the NYC Educator.

"Maybe it isn’t a change in the students and parents," added Mamacita. "Maybe the curriculum is just too different now. I remember when everyone had access to some life skills and were taught them when they were ready to learn."

A call came from across the crowd. "Yo! Goddess! Where’s the bathroom?"

"Down the hall and to the left."

"Geez," said Greg, "I’ve just been dealing with bathroom use issues at my school. Is it really too much to expect a high school age kid to wait to go until passing time? (No pun intended.) Don’t most of them go all night without using the restroom?"

"Hic..." Mr. Lawrence said as he tripped. "Pardon, but it is time for a cuba libre or three. I gotta do something to get those crazy kid names from this year out of my head." Lawrence continued toward the kitchen.

Theo was gathering his things as if he was leaving. "Where you goin’, Theo?"

"Oh, I've got to get back to grading." He rolled his eyes. "These days, it seems like 'authentic' assessment is synonymous with 'slow.' Are things really any better with these new expectations?

"Depends on who you talk to. It seems to me that until the DoE has some common expectations about how states determine their subgroups for AYP, we won’t can’t know the value of these different assessments. I was just blogging about that over on the AFT/NCLBlog."

"Speaking of the DoE," said Alexander Russo, did you see that Spellings isn't on the witness list for the House hearing on the possible AYP loophole?"

Eduwonk stopped by with Crystal from the HUNBlog and joined the group. "And speaking of NCLB, I’m wondering why, in this information age, some schools can’t figure out a way to use technology to get struggling students the support they need."

"Yeah, well, there’s always next year," The Science Goddess said as she pondered her margarita.

Crystal laughed. "Next year? After originally moving from a primary classroom to a grade 8 science classroom, I’m really wondering about how well certification matches qualifications. TGI Summer."

Scott joined the party late, but was catching up quickly. "I was just reading something about math certification that relates to what you're talking about."

"I’ve already been pondering the evolution of the syllabus," said Zeno. "Does one size fit all?"

"Probably not. But then, most college students these days approach their education with a sense of entitlement. I’ve been thinking of writing a ‘Tough Love Manifesto' about this very same issue over at Right Wing Nation."

"College students..." said the Science Goddess. "Did you see how their indiscretions with personal information on sites like ‘MySpace’ are costing them jobs?"

Mildly Melancholy chimed in, "I’m already planning for next year, too. I have lots of ideas to teach kids to be better writers."

"Maybe you’d be interested in our contest," said The Reflective Teacher.

"What contest?"

"The one for nerds! Come on over and give a lesson plan your best shot."

"I can’t even think about next year," said the ChemJerk. "I’m still trying to get over all of the misconceptions my students had about the material this year."

The Science Goddess wandered over to check in on the Wonks. "Are you having a good time? I’m so glad you let me host."

"Things are great. But not everywhere. Did you read about that situation in Texas where a former teacher wants full custody of the child she had with a 13-year old student?" The Wonks shook their heads. "What’s happening with the world today?"

D-Ed Reckoning looked over. "I hadn’t heard that. What’s been bugging me is the lack of quality research in education these days."

Janine sighed. "I have to get going."

"So soon?"

"Well, I have to get ready for next week’s ‘do.’ We’re hosting the Carnival of Education next week over at ‘Why Homeschool?’"

"Great!" said the Wonks. "How do we contact you if we want to participate?"

"Just send your permalink to cate [at] panix [dot] com by 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday, June 20. And be sure to come over and check things out."

"I’ll do that," said the Science Goddess. "I really enjoyed your post on the differences in brain development between girls and boys, and the effect this can have on how they learn."

And with that, the faculty party started to break up. Summer was here.

This Carnival is registered at The Truth Laid Bear.


Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Great job! Thank you for including me.

Anonymous said...

Whee! Thanks for including me, too!

Anonymous said...

I really love the way you did this!

graycie said...

Oh, bravo! Love the way you captured our conversations. What fun! It was a great party.

The Science Goddess said...

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Thanks for contributing and supporting the Carnival this week. Don't forget to take some aspirin tomorrow morning...

Amerloc said...

Marvelously well done. Thank you.

EdWonk said...

Great Party! I can just imagine the hangovers...

Zeno said...

Glad to be here. Did everyone get their grades filed?

Hey, who's in charge of the leftovers?

Darren said...

Excellent, entertaining, exceptional!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Very,very creative, just like a teacher....

Christine said...

WooHoo! I get a second frosty beverage. :) Excellent job!

EHT said...

Fantastic carnival. I loved the theme. Two thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

I guess my article wasn't included because it had a homeschooling theme.....how can we find out the themes ahead of time?

I've got this Carnival advertised on my blog.

Good job!

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

I really enjoyed this-- and I didn't even get a hangover!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant job, Science Goddess ... and I appreciate the way you didn't mention my DUI at 2 in the morning ... ;-)